Tool Shed - Most Brutal Workout Ever?

This workout is a beast. Having 5 hammers and a set from the Shovel is really mean!

Shovel intervals are fine but the hammers - I hate them! With my recent HM results I had to dial back MAP to 93% just to get through.

There are hard workouts and then there are evil workouts - and this, for me falls firmly into that category!

Confirms (no surprises) where I am weaker (on new numbers) which is longer MAP efforts - shorter MAP efforts like the Shovel and Revolver I could do all day long (not literally!).

Anyone else have issues with Tool Shed?


Yes, it’s a brutal brute. Here’s something I posted a while back over on the Facebook page:

It was a quiet night in the Nine Hammers tavern. Grunter sat in the corner of the room glaring at his drink. His drink was doing its best to avoid his gaze and attempted to crawl out of the mug and hide under the table.
A slightly drunk recent immigrant to Sufferlandria who had just learnt that he could never leave and was attempting to either drown his sorrows, or drink to his good fortune (he wasn’t really sure anymore), decided to go and chat to Grunter.
As he walked across the room, older Sufferlandrians slowly backed away from the corner. They had seen this before and it generally wasn’t pretty. Yeah, 10 hammers worth of not pretty.
The youngster grabbed a recently vacated chair and sat down on it opposite Grunter who was still glaring at his mug. By now, Grunter’s drink was halfway out the front door and gathering speed. The mug was now wondering what it had done wrong.
“So, that Nine Hammers work out is pretty tough hey?” said the youngster. “I heard people say it’s the toughest workout, but I’m not sure it’s tough enough.”
Grunter twitched slightly. At this point many of the older Sufferlandrians started to follow the drink out the front door and make for the hills.
“Do you reckon you could make it any harder? I don’t think you have it in you.” the youngster continued without any concern for his wellbeing.
Grunter finally looked up and stared at the youngster who found himself suddenly and rather unpleasantly violently sober.
“Hold my beer” grunted Grunter and he walked out through the front door. Yes, literally through the door, leaving a Grunter shaped scorched hole in the surprised door.
The youngster remembered to breathe again, and then wondered what beer he was meant to hold as there was no longer a mug on the table. The mug had caught up with the drink and both of them were hiding somewhere further up the valley.

and THAT is hold The Tool Shed was made.


Just did Tool Shed and I agree, it’s brutal. A bit more than halfway through, I had to drop the intensity to avoid a death spiral. I finished with AC/MAP/FTP each dropped to 90%. Would have entered custom percent for each Dimension but settings were accidentally on “toggle individually,” my eyes were blurry, and I could barely click the minus button and keep pedalling. True suffering! Would appreciate any tips for customizing each dimension’s intensity.

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I’ve only done Tool Shed once. I blew up with about 2 minutes left in the last hammer.

The next time it came up in my schedule I had just done Revolver is Easy 2 days before, I was exhausted and needed recovery, so I slept in.

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I just finished the tool shed and good lord I thought I was going to need a puke bucket towards the end.
This had to be my most difficult ride so far in the AP road training plan. I’m sure there’ll be lots more suffering in my future but this ones right up there

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I think The Too Shed is one of those rides that you’re not suppose to be able to finish on true numbers… so it’s going to hurt… a lot. So perfect for a Sufferlandrian really.


Tool Shed is really hard, like 9H. I’ve tried it once and I cannot manage the last two intervals at the power target, but by that time, I am just too tired to push hard enough to really make it painful. But I find that the last 45 seconds of the 4DP test is the hardest thing I’ve done on the trainer - at the start of the last one minute interval you think that it’s only a minute and anybody can push for a minute, but after a few seconds, it’s just nope, but you keep going and you cannot get enough air, but you still have the mental energy to keep trying to get your power higher.


Brilliant description of the 1 minute test. I re-lived every one of my 4DP tests while reading that. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I’m a bit late to this thread, but it popped up and has inspired me to load up the Shed this week. I have The Cure in my plan but having just done it in the ToS I was looking for an alternative.

Excellent! (Not excellent?!).


It was my first visit to the Tool Shed on Friday following a mid plan Half Monty on Wednesday. For the first 3 hammers I felt strong but the Shovel section was brutal, I hit the NM and AC intervals full gas ( Virtual power curve for my trainer tops out at 316w so I have to go by RPE) my breathing was getting ragged as I got to the end of the MAP intervals and at the end of the last FTP based interval I was in desperate need of the 1min recovery before starting to climb out the other side of the shovel hole. I always recover better when the intervals tend from FTP-NM, so was feeling confident for the last 2 hammers, oh how wrong I was.

Hammer 4(8) was ok but after the not quite recovery break before hammer 5(9) my legs were leaden. 1st minute of hammer 5 I was just hitting the power target but when they increased for the 2nd minute my legs didn’t respond, max effort was just about maintaining the power target and by the end of the 2nd min they we like jelly, my heart was pounding and I was in a very dark place. I spent the third minute of the interval collapsed on top of the bike summoning up the energy to be able to ride the cool down.

Its the most brutal workout I’ve ever done apart from that time I did 9 Hammers with the resistance lever set 2 levels too high by accident.


I read this and saw that I was the last to comment in this thread, with a comment about adding ToolShed in to my then plan. In hindsight this seems somewhat foolish.

I looked back at my workout notes.

“Ouch. Moved to 90% 40s in to Hammer 8. To 80% 45s into Hammer 9.”

So sounds like we had not dissimilar experiences. That was the first time I had done this workout out too, and I’d fully agree with your sentiments. 9H is tough but this is horrendous! I think with Nine Hammers I at least feel like I’m getting a ‘break’ in the FTP sections, by comparison (TT rider type). But when you swap in the Shovel then all bets are off.

Doing it on fresh HM numbers can’t have been pretty - congrats indeed. I’m pretty sure I was due a new test by that point too.


Boy, this is a scary thread! I also first tried it just following Half Monty, 4 weeks into my first structured plan. After pushing quite hard on Half Monty (increased FTP 274->292 and MAP 336->366 and manually tweaked NM and AC up by 30W each) and then reading this thread, I was prepared to not finish it.

But I did! It was hard, but possible. Maybe it has gotten a bit easier in SYSTM?

So don’t let this thread discourage you prematurely. Give it your best effort and it might work out.


First time this morning, like some of you, I had to cheat a little. I had to lengthen some recoveries a bit and did not managed to finish the last hammer :hot_face:
I don’t know if it’s better to do like that… Perhaps I should have lowered to 95% or 90%…
I confirm it’s brutal, especially at the end of an “ON” week of a plan !


Tool Shed is one of three workouts (among half is easy and violater) I never managed to finish.

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With new HM numbers, Toolshed was certainly brutal today. I could not finish the last bit - Hammer 8 and 9 from 9 Hammers.

Emptied my tank after the Shovel bit. Oh gosh…. The glorious suffering